Aiguabarreig
ink drawing, 14 x 9 (17.25 x 12.5), 1979 detail

In the winter of 1978-79, living in Vilanova i La Geltrú, Spain, I dedicated myself to solving some fundamental issues with the tiling patterns that I had first discovered in the summer of 1969, while I was a student at the Provincetown Workshop, a summer art school founded by Hans Hoffmann in Provincetown, Massachusetts. The first of the four basic tiles I use in the "ignoverse" generative system fell together as a collage of rusted metal pieces found on the beach and showed up only sporadically for several years--most of my work was either realistic drawing, gestural abstraction, or process-oriented application of paint, solvents, fire, collage, etc.

Partly out of an interest in mathematics, and partly from a desire to compose my art as if I were composing music--that is, from rules--I set out to solve a "four-color theorem" for all the 24 possible permutations of the four tiles. Much of the theory is explained in a document, Ignotheory. Aiguabarreig de Miralls (Waterfall of Mirrors) was one of the first compositions to use the four-color solutions. It is actually based on the combinatorics of a finite projective plane of order 4, varying color (i.e., pen thickness and value), orientation of pen strokes, and placement of the central empty rectangle. It was first shown in the Joan Miro International Drawing Competition of 1979.